While the staff continues to break down film on defensive ends and tackles, one player it's already made up its mind on is East Mississippi Community College's Damien Jacobs, who got an official from Tennessee recently.
"I have a lot of schools that are waiting on my film to offer me," Jacobs said. "A firm offer I have is Tennessee. I just finished up on my highlight tape today and my film is getting out.
"The recruiting season is starting to pick up for me. I just opened my recruiting back up. I'm just taking it slow right now. It's going to be a long process."
Even as of late late May it appeared as though Jacobs would give a second pledge to Florida State, whom he signed with out of H.L. Bourgeois High School in Gray, La. Opposing schools no longer need to fear the Seminoles in attempt of getting the 6-foot-4, 300-pounder in uniform.
"No, I'm not going back to Florida State," he told InsideTennessee.com.
With the door seemingly wide open with Jacobs' recruitment, recruiting coordinator Terry Joseph and tight ends coach Eric Russell, who both were familiar with Jacobs while working at Louisiana Tech and Texas Tech, respectively, are in pursuit of Jacobs for the Vols.
"They told me if I came in there, I'd probably be a no-brainer starter," Jacobs said. "They need some guys just like me from junior college with some experience and can hold up in the SEC."
The behemoth tackle is already familiar with Tennessee's campus and facilities from his prep days.
|Tennessee assistant coach Terry Joseph stays in contact with Damien Jacobs.|
"I'd been there when I was in high school when (former) coach (Lane) Kiffin was directing the staff," said Jacobs, who came up for an O-line versus D-line summer camp. "I've seen just about everything. (Neyland Stadium)'s huge, biggest stadium I've been in."
One player that signed with the Vols back in February that is familiar with Jacobs is defensive back Izauea Lanier, who was on the team with him at East Mississippi.
"We're good friends," said Jacobs, who expects to be in contact with Lanier more often after his visit to Knoxville this week.
Playing in all 10 games last season for the Lions, Jacobs recorded 48 tackles, including four for a loss, and 1.5 sacks to go with a pass breakup and a fumble recovery.
"I'm a great two-gapper, and I play great hash to hash. I like to run hash to hash and catch the ball carrier. I play great against the run, that's one of my strengths. I can pass rush too, but I'm better at defending the run," he said.
He bench pressed 405 pounds recently and estimates his squat max is around 500 pounds.
Getting the chance to match his skills up with Div. I offensive linemen is something Jacobs said he's ready to experience.
"I'm excited about it. I'm ready to get on TV and show everybody what I can be, what kind of talent I have," he said.
"I keep a level mind about it. I'm a workaholic. I just want to work and keep working every day to get better."
Jacobs appeared quite confident that the academic side of things is going smoothly, which can sometimes throw a wrench in things with SEC signees with certain math classes.
"I'm in that math class right now. I passed one of them and in the other right now (in summer school) and doing pretty good in it. I know I'll be eligible SEC-wise," said Jacobs, who plans to enroll at his next stop in January.
Even though he'll be entering a classroom at a four-year university in less than six months, Jacobs said he's not going to rush a decision and will take all five official visits.
"I think I'm going to wait a little longer, almost to the end and make a decision," he said.